SEEDS SHAUN MURPHY and Stephen Maguire are trailing overnight in their respective first round matches at the Dafabet World Championship.
Murphy ended the afternoon 5-4 down to Jamie Cope while Maguire has it all to do after failing 6-3 adrift to Ryan Day.
The Scot, twice a semi-finalist at the Crucible, started well, making a 71 break in the opening frame, but Day, a three times quarter-finalist in the World Championship, responded with a 130 in the second.
Day forged 4-2 ahead and won a crunch eighth by clearing from green to black to steal the seventh. He added the eighth before Maguire won the last of the afternoon to throw himself a lifeline.
Cope won the opening frame with a break of 75 before Murphy’s 112 in the second. The third was a bitty, scrappy affair. Which went to Cope, but a double kiss early in the fourth let Murphy in for a 70 for 2-2.
Murphy then started to take control, running 87 and 70 to lead 4-2 but was unable to convert the advantage. Cope won the seventh before the key frame of the afternoon, which looked certain to go to Murphy after he potted a long green, needing only the brown in addition.
But the 2005 world champion looked on in horror as the cue ball dropped into a corner pocket. Cope then made a steely clearance and got home in the ninth despite breaking down on 58. Murphy was able to force a re-spot but missed the last red.
Both matches are played to a conclusion at 7pm on Sunday.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.